Kalvin Phillips explains reasons for Leeds transfer as Man City move is confirmed and player picks coveted shirt number
Manchester City have confirmed the signing of Kalvin Phillips from Leeds United on a deal costing them an initial £42m.
The homegrown star first joined Leeds as a 14-year-old and departs 12 years later after becoming a terrace hero. With just years left on his deal, the Whites were powerless to prevent their talismanic star departing once Pep Guardiola came calling. And after weeks of talks, that deal was finally made official on Monday morning.
City are paying Leeds an initial £42m fee for the midfielder, who is 26. That will rise to £45m with add-ons and bonuses. In a separate deal, Leeds will also sign 18-year-old midfielder Darko Gyabi in a £5m transfer.
Having won 23 England caps at Leeds, Phillips has established himself as one of the Premier League’s finest defensive midfielders. And once it became clear that Fernandinho was departing, Guardiola homed in on the Leeds favourite.
Phillips has signed a six-year deal at the Etihad, keeping him at Manchester City until summer 2028. He has also taken the No 4 jersey, a number often associated with defensive midfielders and last worn at the club by Vincent Kompany.
If Phillips becomes half as successful as the club icon, they know they will be getting a player of extreme quality.
Player explains Man City transfer
Speaking to the club’s official website, Phillips admits City’s appeal is huge. He insists playing for Guardiola and hooking up with their world-class squad were reasons for his move.
“I am absolutely delighted to have joined Manchester City,” Phillips said.
“City have again proved to the best team in the country with an amazing squad and a manager in Pep Guardiola who is rightly considered to be the finest in the world.
We are delighted to announce the signing of @Kalvinphillips on a six-year deal 🤩
Welcome, Kalvin! 💙#ManCity pic.twitter.com/3fNJthPNIL
— Manchester City (@ManCity) July 4, 2022
“To be able to play under Pep and learn from him and his coaching staff as well as be part of a such a fantastic squad is a prospect that I am incredibly excited about.
“City are a world-class Club with world-class staff and facilities and it’s a dream come true to have joined the Club.
“Now I can’t wait to get started and to look to try and help the team to go on and achieve more success.”
Txiki Begiristain explains Kalvin Phillips signing
Phillips’ arrival is also very pleasing for director of football Txiki Begiristain.
“Kalvin is a player that we have long admired, and at both domestic and international level, he has proved his fantastic ability and quality over the past few seasons.
“His reading of the game, alongside his passing ability, energy and drive make him a formidable talent. He is a player who has a fantastic will to win.
“We feel he will be a superb addition to our squad and that he will complement our game perfectly.
“Everyone here is looking forward to watch Kalvin play and develop even further over the next few years.”
Phillips made 234 appearances for Leeds, scoring 14 goals for his hometown club.
He becomes their second signing of the summer after Erling Haaland.
The challenge now for Kalvin Phillips will be to become a regular in a mult-talented and competitive City side. They also have Rodri as an option in defensive midfield.
City, meanwhile, have also finalised the sale of Ko Itakura, with Borussia Monchengladbach explaining their thought process.